Tokarski, Admirals Hand Sound Tigers First Loss of Season
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Goaltender Dustin Tokarski carried a shutout into the late stages of the game and ended up with 27 saves on 28 shots as his Norfolk Admirals (2-4-0-0) handed the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4-1-0-0) their first loss of the season – a 2-1 decision on Saturday night at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
It appeared as if the teams would skate off to the first intermission in a scoreless deadlock with Bridgeport taking a 9-4 edge in shots in the opening 20 minutes. However, the Admirals eked out a fifth shot that found its mark at the buzzer to end the first period. Paul Szczechura stole the puck from a Sound Tigers defenseman behind the net manned by Bridgeport goaltender Mikko Koskinen. Szczechura sent a quick pass into the slot where Brandon Bochenski collected it. Bochenski sent a wrist shot from between the hashmarks that went over the left shoulder of Koskinen for his fourth goal of the season at 19:59.
After a scoreless second period, the Admirals picked up a crucial insurance goal 5:17 into the final frame. Juraj Simek cut across the right circle and into the slot where he sent a wrist shot off the crossbar. The puck landed flat in the crease behind Koskinen and Ryan Craig punched it over the goal line for his fourth goal of the season.
That goal would end up being the game-winner, as the Sound Tigers drew to within a goal of the Admirals with an extra-attacker marker with only 1:16 left in the game. Greg Moore sent a shot from the left circle through traffic and past a screened Norfolk netminder Dustin Tokarski to make the score 2-1.
However, that would be all the offense the Sound Tigers could muster against the Admirals’ rookie goaltender, who stopped 10 of 11 third period shots to preserve the victory.
Dustin Tokarski (28 shots, 27 saves) earned his second win of the season. Mikko Koskinen (16 shots, 14 saves) took the loss.
Norfolk was 0-4 on the power play. Bridgeport was 0-3.
The Admirals will return to Scope next week for a pair of contests against the Portland Pirates, AHL affiliates of the Buffalo Sabres, on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:15 p.m. Saturday night is Hope at the Scope to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Discounted $11.50 Red Level Tickets are available for advance purchase only at http://alz.org/seva that will admit fans to the Admirals game as well as a celebrity hockey game at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday evening at Scope. Proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. More details are available at http://www.norfolkadmirals.com.
1. Dustin Tokarski – NOR
2. Ryan Craig – NOR
3. Greg Moore – BRI
Notes … The Admirals stopped all three Bridgeport power play opportunities tonight and have killed all 15 opponent power plays over their last five games … The Admirals have allowed only six opponent power play opportunities over the past three games … Ryan Craig has points in four straight games (4G, 1A). He leads the team with five points and is tied with Brandon Bochenski for the team lead in goals with four … Juraj Simek (0G, 3A) and Paul Szczechura (1G, 1A) have points in back-to-back contests … Matt Lashoff picked up his first Norfolk point with an assist on Craig’s goal … Scratches: C Mitch Fadden, LW Justin Keller, G Jaroslav Janus, D Matt Smaby ... Attendance: 2,909.